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Luggage Handling Techniques

Hi friends, in this blog, we will discuss how luggage handling systems work in airports and other crowded areas.  A baggage handling system is a type of conveyor system installed in all airports that transport checked luggage from ticket counters to areas where the bags can be loaded onto airplanes. Post-September 11, 2001, majority of airports around the world began to implement baggage screening directly into baggage handling system.  At check-in have you ever waved goodbye to your personal luggage as it mingles with several other bound for different destinations on the conveyer belt? And then express surprise or say a silent prayer of thanks, when you retrieve your baggage on arrival at your destination.  A BHS (baggage handling system) also transports checked baggage coming from airplanes to baggage claims or to an area where the bag can be loaded onto another airplane

Baggage Handling At Airport:

Flying millions of suitcases around the world is a matter of routine for all airlines but the logistics involved behind the scenes are immensely intricate. And these days airlines offer you the convenience of checking-in your luggage straight through to your destination, no matter how many connections you have to make. How do they do it? Although the primary function of a baggage handling system is the transportation of bags, a typical baggage handling system will serve other functions involved in making sure that a bag gets to the correct location in the airport.



At check-in, your suitcase is given a luggage tag printed with all the important details in code: the destination or transfer airport in abbreviation, the flight number of each leg of the journey and an identification number matching the number on your boarding pass. Many BHS  offer software to better manage the system.

At-large international airport, the bags are handled and sorted out by a fully automatic system. Sortation is the process of identifying a bag and all the information associated with it, to decide where the bag should be directed within the system or organization. In a fraction of a second, their scanners are able to read the codes on the luggage tags, checking the identification number against the number held by the passenger. it is relatively rare if a passenger is required to identify his luggage again before take off.

How baggage handling system works:

After check-in, the main aim is to ensure that all the baggage gets to the right aircraft as quickly as possible. And this is where the baggage system speedily sorts out the luggage of each destined flight. The suitcase revolves on the conveyor belt until the computerized scanner identifies the code on the luggage tag and chutes it down to the pick-up point. Here,  the handlers stack the baggage on trolleys or in containers and drive them to the aircraft.

These efficient, state-of-art baggage handling systems face an acid test in the big international airports where over a million passengers pass through. It is a race against time, as the baggage transfer is guaranteed within 45 minutes. As 30 minutes are spent unloading and reloading the baggage onto the next flight, there are just 15 minutes left for the sorting. It is indeed a tight schedule that is nearly always met.

In addition to sortation, A baggage handling system may also perform the following functions:

  • Detection of bag jams.
  • Volume regulation and avoid overloading.
  • Load balancing.
  • Bag counting and tracking.
  • Redirection of bags via diverter or pusher.
  • Automatic Tag Reader reads the tags on the luggage provided by the airlines.

But, as experienced travelers will tell you, baggage does occasionally get lost. Sometimes this happens owing to a technical fault or human error, and it goes to another airline or airport. As soon as a passenger reports missing luggage, the wires start buzzing. As all the world’s airline co-ordinate with each other to track down lost luggage, there is a high percentage of success that the luggage will be tracked down.

So next time you travel, rest assured, it is highly unlikely that you will arrive without your luggage.

Read more: Baggage handling Wiki.

Sarafudheen PM

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